If you have played the sport of hockey for as long as I have, then you'll know that hockey equipmentmatters almost as much as the skill of the player. Why is that? Well for one, you have to take the sport of hockey itself into consideration. There are twotypes of hockey where the equipment you usecan really affect your performance. The first is ice hockey. Ice hockey more or less requires sharp blades on your skates and aerodynamic gear to improve your playing. As with all sports, the lighter the hockey equipment the more you can accelerate your skill. It all comes down to optimizing. Ice hockey gear can only be optimized so much before it becomes a non issue.
The other type of hockey where the equipment can make an even bigger difference, is roller hockey. Roller hockey equipment can be tweaked and upgraded on so many levels. This is all based on affordability, price and the budget of the player. What makes roller hockey so different than ice hockey? It is an easy factor to guess. The skates. The skates the players use in both sports are very different. One pair of hockey skates glides on a slick surface such as iceand the other pair has wheels that roll on a much harder surface. The surface can vary very much in roller hockey. Some are flat and smooth like in indoor hockey. The others can be rough like concrete in outdoor hockey. Which type of hockey equipment can improve the roller hockey player? Well, the following are a few based on my experience growing up playing the sport:
Abec bearings for the skate wheels can help out tremendously in speed. With my experience I've had good performance with Abec-5 bearings and up. Although, I've read that Bones Swiss bearings are actually better and give a boost in overall speed. It is also a good thing to make sure they are lubricated properly. This will be a good deciding factor on how fast a hockey player can skate.
While having the best hockey skates you can have is a good thing, I would mostly just stick to picking a pair that has a good aluminum frame. These can last a very a long time. Everything else on the skates can be upgraded later on when you get the money. I've personally used Bauer hockey skates and I can say that they are very comfortable and give good performance. Even though I've never actually used Reebok hockey skates, I've owned a pair of CCM Tacks. I can happily say they lasted me longer than 10 years and are still usable. Reebok hockey purchased CCM hockey not too long ago. I don't know how their hockey skates have changed other than them maybe adding the Reebok pump to its features.
Lastly, your hockey stick is what I consider to be the final deciding factor in your performance as a hockey player. It is what you use to control the puck. How you shoot, slapshot, stick handle, it all depends on your stick. If you have a very light stick that is very strong, you should be able to improve your hockey skills considerably. In most cases, the more expensive sticks are the ones made with a stronger material that also is lighter. If you are interested in getting a better stick, most players tend to go with a composite material for the hockey shaft.
In the end, what gear you choose largely depends on your own personal preference. The items I have listed above are the ones that helped me in my playing. I don't know what will work for everyone, but I do know that a deciding factor in how good you can be can come down to the use and brand of your hockey equipment.